More Health Info

If you want to be a healthy weight, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in its 10 Tip Series, follow these recommendations:

  1. Find out what you need 
    screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-11-09-46-amGet personalized nutrition information based on your age, gender, height, weight, and physical activity level. SuperTracker provides your calorie level, shows foods and beverages you need, and tracks progress toward your goals. Learn more at www.SuperTracker.usda.gov.
  2. Enjoy your food but eat less 
    Use a smaller plate at meals to help control the amount of food and calories you eat. Take time to enjoy smaller amounts of food.
  3. Strengthen your bones 
    Choose foods like fat-free and low-fat milk, cheese, yogurt, and fortified soymilk to help strengthen bones. Be sure your morning coffee includes fat-free or low-fat milk.
  4. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables 
    Add fruit to meals as part of main or side dishes. Choose red, orange, or dark-green vegetables like tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, along with other vegetables for meals.
  5. Drink water 
    Sip water or other drinks with few or no calories to help maintain a healthy weight. Keep a water bottle in your bag or at your desk to satisfy your thirst throughout the day.
  6. Eat whole grains more often 
    Choose whole grains like brown rice and whole-grain pastas and breads more often. Foods with a high-fiber content can help give you a feeling of fullness and also provide key nutrients.
  7. Learn what is in foods 
    Use both ingredient and Nutrition Facts labels to discover what various foods contain. SuperTracker’s Food-A-Pedia makes it easy to compare nutrition information for more than 8,000 foods.
  8. Cut back on some foods 
    Cut calories by cutting out foods high in solid fats and added sugar. Limit fatty meats like ribs, bacon, and hot dogs. Choose cakes, cookies, candies, and ice cream as just occasional treats.
  9. Be a better cook 
    Try out healthier recipes that use less solid fat, salt, and sugar. Eat at home more often so you can control what you are eating. If you eat out, check and compare nutrition information. Choose healthier options such as baked chicken instead of fried chicken.
  10. Be active whenever you can 
    Set a goal to fit in at least 2½ hours of moderate physical activity in your week. Being active 10 minutes at a time also adds to your weekly total. Ask your friends or family to keep you company as you bike, jog, walk, or dance. Don’t forget to do some muscle-strengthening activities twice a week.

cmp_slideshow_plateSee more at the Choose My Plate website.

Another great way to get to and keep a healthy weight, you can use discounts at local gyms in Summer 2016. For Measure Up Marion partner worksites, get more details here.

What about sodium?

The American Heart Association offers these guidelines for knowing how much sodium is in a food, based on description: 

Sodium-free: less than 5 milligrams of sodium per serving and contains no sodium chloride

Very low sodium: 35 milligrams or less per serving

Low sodium: 140 milligrams or less per serving

Reduced (or less) sodium: at least 25 percent less sodium per serving than the usual sodium level

Light (for sodium-reduced products): if the food is “low calorie” and “low fat” and sodium is reduced by at least 50 percent per serving

Light in sodium: if sodium is reduced by at least 50 percent per serving

sodiumRead more about sodium from the American Heart Association.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend an upper limit for sodium consumption of 2,300 milligrams per day for adults. If you are African American, age 51 or older or have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic disease, that recommendation is lowered to 1,500 milligrams per day. The American Heart Association suggests the 1,500 mg mark to lower your blood pressure.

Evidence shows that consuming too much sodium can raise blood pressure, which is a risk factor for stroke. High blood pressure can also lead to heart disease, kidney disease and congestive heart failure.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a wide range of information to improve health.

More About Improving Eating Habits

Planning Meals for Better Eating Habits

Cutting Calories for Meals, Snacks, and Beverages

Healthy Recipes